The idea was simple. Try to tackle the electric vehicle market and make your competitors shake with fear as you dauntlessly wave your profit. Or, at least, that was the general idea that Dyson had when his company decided it was time for them to show their expertise when it comes to technology and give the world another EV. It was January 2019, when the dream was born. The world was given an announcement that Dyson Ltd, peeved with the bureaucratic limitations of the United Kingdom – to say nothing of EU – makes as gallant step as possible and relocates its company HQ to Singapore.
But before taking their project to Asia, an army of 500 workers was taken to former RAF airfield in Wiltshire to make Dyson’s dream come true. The car that this team of specialized engineers was to develop, promised that even tech giants like Tesla and BMW will think twice before going against Dyson. For the investors’ world, it was a Brobdingnagian promise.
And in no time, a fully drivable prototype was born. In just one year, all of the necessary steps to launch Dyson into the stratosphere of EVs were taken as the deadline of 2021 was nearing. But not all things went according to the plan. And when a company of this size runs into trouble, vast amounts of money are thrown in just to keep the wheels on the road.
All in all, Dyson invested $260 million to construct its five-seater with wide enough wheels capable of taming both city roads and offroad challenges. To get a more broad picture, Dyson Ltd is not a company whose main focus is electrical vehicles. Founded in 1991 by Sir James Dyson, this technology company changed the market for household appliances forever. With the main focus on vacuum cleaners, air purifiers and such futuristic contraptions as bladeless fans Dyson Ltd managed to amass a fortune of £4.4 billion.
Its history also numbers quite a few patent infringement lawsuits, with one of them being Dyson vs. Samsung Electronics. The two tech giants fight over something known as “Motion Sync”, a part of a steering mechanism that Dyson had a patent for. Not long after Dyson decided to let Samsung be and drop the litigation, but they decided that countersuit is in order.
But when it came to electric vehicles, Dyson was stepping into unknown lands. The burden of it was to titanic for Dyson to be able to cope with it, and on October 10, Sir James Dyson send everyone in the company an email. “We have been through a serious process to find a buyer for the project which has, unfortunately, been unsuccessful so far. I wanted you to hear directly from me that the Dyson Board has therefore taken the very difficult decision to propose the closure of our automotive project.”
And just like that, the dream to build a better EV went to ashes. According to researchers on this matter, Dyson poured in mountains of money, but it was nothing once compared with the billions of dollars that Volkswagen is investing in its quest to build the ultimate EV. The math is simple. Huge car manufactures embraced the idea that electric vehicles are the future and it is their obligation to follow suit if they want to stay in the sector.
For Dyson, it was very different and to invest such amounts as its rivals, was something James Dyson felt was impossible. This is not the first project Dyson decided to cancel. In 2001 they wanted to launch a robot vacuum, dubbed the DC06, but following James’s order, the vacuum was taken out of production.
The decision to stop the EV project came as a surprise but Dyson announced that even though the electric vehicle will not be produced, all the money invested was not in vain as the research for a better battery will continue.
“We will also concentrate on the formidable task of manufacturing solid state batteries and other fundamental technologies which we have identified: sensing technologies, vision systems, robotics, machine learning, and AI offer us significant opportunities which we must grab with both hands,” stood written in the email.
James concluded by saying “I remain as excited about the future of Dyson as I have always been; our ambitions have never been higher, our ability to invest has never been greater, and the team has never been stronger.” Will Dyson ever fulfill its dream to built a better EV remains to be seen, but James Dyson has always been focused on building a better automobile as it is visible by his attempt to better the diesel exhausts way back when Dyson Ltd was still cutting its teeth.
That project failed too but the entrepreneurial spirit never did and Dyson Ltd is still pushing strong.